Empire of Blue Water

  • by Stephan Talty
  • Narrated by David Bauckham
  • 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

He challenged the greatest empires on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades - and brought it to its knees. Henry Morgan crossed the Atlantic in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune.
Awash with bloody battles, political intrigues, and natural disasters, Empire of Blue Water brilliantly re-creates the passion and the violence of the age of exploration and empire.


What the Critics Say

"Fresh insight into pirates' dens of old ...Well-researched non fiction that reads like a novel." (Washington Times)
" Talty strips away the legend to recreate a pivotal era in this accesible portrait of the pirates of the Caribbean." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Swashbuckling in the real world

Although this book is subtitled "Pirates who ruled the Caribbean waves", it is mostly the life story of Henry Morgan. Not that I'm complaining. Morgan was certainly a very colourful character who had more adventure in his life than most of us will ever read of. How he went from shabby buccaneer to Governor of Jamaica is a remarkable story filled with tremendous triumph and incredible hardship, and this book tells it beautifully. The ordinary pirate/buccaneer is not neglected, for the book also refers to a fictional character who is a composite of the typical pirate of the day, which adds greatly to the story of the increasingly high-flying Morgan. The result is an excellent study of Morgan and his actions, seen both through his eyes, those of his Spanish enemies and those of his followers.

What the book is not is a general history of piracy in the Caribbean. Many famous pirates get only brief mentions or no mention at all, but the picture of piracy in general and how it operated, flourished and eventually withered is brightly painted by the author. In particular the grubby truth behind the actions of so many characters gives a great feeling of realism which some histories can gloss over, making this book one of the better ones at depicting all the characters as flawed if sometimes great personalities.

The reading is very well done, and since I can fault neither the book nor how it was produced it only remains to say this is well worthy of its five stars and a little of your time.
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- Dave


A thoroughly enjoyable and informative book. It details the life of Morgan, and puts it in the context of the geopolitical climate of the time. The author has a very informal and narrative style that makes it an easy but enthralling listen, and the narrator does an excellent job of bringing it all to life. For anyone interested in the brutal days of the Pirates, Buccaneers and Privateers in the Caribbean, then I would highly recommend this book.
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- Sara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-12-2009
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd